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ABC News
Penultimate Alaska Update; Uncalled Congressional Races

With roughly 24,000 ballots left to be counted tomorrow, the Alaska Senate race is near its official conclusion. No update today, and Democrat Mark Begich’s lead over incumbent Ted Stevens remains at 1,022.

Quinnipiac assistant director Peter A. Brown, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says that “Unlce Ted” is “less than even money.” Now that’s charity. (In other news, the 2-8 St. Louis Rams are “less than even money” to win the NFC West this year.) Brown’s piece is more about Sarah Palin preferring Stevens to win so that she could launch a 2012 presidential bid from his seat after he is expelled from the Senate.

Though many Democrats fervently pray for Palin to remain on the national stage as the de facto brand leader of the Republican Party, not allowing Republicans to turn the page, she will not likely get the chance to replace Stevens. Perhaps if and when Representative Don Young’s Justice Department investigation moves into an indictment phase, Palin would have an opening for the House.

In California’s 4th House district, Republican Tom McClintock leads Democrat Charlie Brown by 622 votes with roughly 25,000 absentee and provisional ballots left to be counted. Both men are attending freshman House member orientation.

In Ohio’s 15th House district, another extremely close open seat race, a federal judge today listened to arguments about the counting of provisional ballots, and will rule on the counting of approximately 1,000 ballots by Thursday 5pm Eastern. With thousands of ballots left to count, Republican Steve Stivers leads Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy by 149 votes.